The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, who disclosed this in an article published today, said Buhari, who has been away from Nigeria on a medical vacation in London for more than 100 days, had enough time to watch television and get properly informed on what was happening back home.
According to Adesina, the president mentioned one of the leaders of the protest by name and laughed but no malice was noticed in the laughter.
“If you have met the President personally, he is usually full of wisecracks and this day was not different. He told us he had enough time to watch television, and commended the NTA particularly, and Nigerian media generally, for bringing him up to speed with what was happening back home.
“He said he had been watching the protests by people who wanted him to return home post-haste, or resign. He mentioned one of the leaders of the protest by name, and laughed. I did not discern any malice in the laughter,” Adesina said in the article.”
Adesina added that the President had word for each member of his media team which visited him recently, a situation which, he said, showed that he had been following events back home.
“He commended the Minister of Information and Culture, saying, ‘Lai, you are all over the place. I see you virtually every day. You have been working very hard.’ Pointing to Abike Dabiri-Erewa [who was in London on another official matter but eventually joined the team to see the President], he said, ‘She is here in her constituency. But me, I am here reluctantly.’ We all laughed, and Dabiri-Erewa jocularly issued what you could call a quit notice, saying she didn’t want the President in her constituency again.”
The presidential aide said Buhari’s health status, as confirmed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, during his visit to the president at the Abuja House, London, where the number one man has been recuperating, was a testimony to the healing powers of God.
“This was a man gravely ill, but restored miraculously. It can only be God. In spite of what haters, wailers, and filthy dreamers imagine, and which they spew out, God remains merciful and immutable. He has the final say. If I were a hater, I would repent now, in sackcloth and ashes,” he stated.
Adesina also touched on the argument that the media handlers of the President were transmitting at best third hand information to the public, given the fact that no member of the president’s media team stayed with their principal while he was being confronted by severe health challenges abroad.
“It [the fuss] did not bother me as much as it did some people, particularly, journalists. The discretion to have anyone with him at a given time was that of the President, and there was nothing anybody could do about it. I was in direct contact with those who were around him, and that was the best in the circumstances,” he wrote.